Many people will attempt to follow the Alcoholics Anonymous plan to reach sobriety. The community is enormous and open to newcomers, but it can still feel somewhat overwhelming for those new to the program.
In addition to trying a new outlook on life—staying sober—AA has many new concepts to learn, including the 12 steps, acronyms, books, slogans, and sponsors. This curriculum can feel like a bit much when members first join. The truth is, behind all the books and rules, AA is a fairly simple concept with a supportive community of recovering addicts who just want to help one another.
The best part about AA is members become a family for newcomers. They don’t judge each other. Everyone in the program has had their own struggle with addiction, and they understand how the disease can take control of every aspect of the addict’s life. At the same time, they’ll know when someone is trying to pull a fast one, and they won’t be afraid to call them out on it.
Sponsors are incredibly important to recovery. A sponsor is a guide and mentor to help newcomers get through the tough times of recovery while maintaining sobriety. Typically, sponsors have had at least one year of sobriety behind them. Women usually pair up with women, and men with men, however that is not always the case. AA meetings are helpful for those struggling to stay sober, but the difficult part usually comes outside of meetings, and this is where sponsors come in. It’s important to be open to the idea of having a sponsor when taking part in AA. Becoming dependent on another person, another alcoholic nonetheless, can seem counterintuitive to recovery, but in reality it’s truly helpful.
It’s important to be honest with sponsors, no matter what. They’ve likely heard it all before, and probably been through the same thing themselves. Don’t worry about sponsors judging, they’re there to be supportive regardless of what happens. Censoring true feelings will only hurt the chances of recovering fully. If the sponsor suggests something undesirable, give it a chance anyway.
Many recovering addicts worry about losing the support of their sponsor, which is why they have a difficult time opening up and feel uncomfortably vulnerable. While this is a legitimate fear (sponsors could end up moving, going away on vacation or a business trip), it’s important to voice those fears with the sponsor and develop a plan to deal with the insecurity.
Dealing with addiction treatment can be difficult. Call Treatment Now today with any questions regarding recovery options.
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